By Steve Schuster
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Friday the final approval of $17.3 billion in opioid agreements with drug makers Teva and Allergan and pharmacies CVS and Walgreens. Following successful state sign-on and subdivision sign-on periods, the defendants have committed to the deal and will start releasing funds to a national administrator later this summer. Wisconsin is set to receive nearly $277 million over 15 years. Money is expected to start flowing to state and local governments by the end of 2023, Kaul said in a written statement.
“The opioid crisis has resulted in harm to countless people, and those who fueled the crisis must be held accountable,” said Kaul. “The hundreds of millions of dollars that Wisconsin communities will receive from these and other case resolutions will enable more progress to be made in the fight again the opioid epidemic,” Kaul added.
The settlements will also require Teva’s opioid business to provide stringent injunctive relief that, among other things, will prevent all opioid marketing and ensure systems are in place to prevent drug misuse. Additionally, Allergan is required to stop selling opioids for the next 10 years. CVS and Walgreens have agreed to injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions. This court-ordered injunctive relief will help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again. A final agreement with Walmart is not being announced today; there are different process for finalizing that settlement, which is anticipated in the coming weeks, according to Kaul.
Wisconsin will receive nearly $276,777,000 over 15 years. National investigations and litigation against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid crisis has led to more than $50 billion; Wisconsin’s share so far is over $764 million, Kaul added.
Teva and Allergan negotiations were led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, Iowa, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. CVS and Walgreens negotiations were led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.